Tuesday, August 07, 2007
GOING TO BOLIVIA 4
FIRST MISSION CONVENTION – SEA VIEW HOTEL 1990
The Diocese of Singapore (Anglican) organized its first missionary convention at the Sea View Hotel. I was a little hesitant about going to the convention. My duties as Pastor of All Saints English Congregation together with the struggle to hold together a young family had kept me busy. I went along anyway because cross cultural missions was not far from my concerns. It was also fun to get away from the daily grind of the ministry and touch base with friends from other churches.
SEND A NUDGE, LORD
Missions, especially as a diocesan initiated project, was a new subject. Thailand, South Africa and other areas in South East Asia hogged the limelight. The presentations were lively and the long buried interest to serve in Latin America surfaced. At one of the sessions I silently prayed for some sort of nudge from the Lord concerning my interest in Latin America. I asked Him to speak through the then Bishop of Singapore, Moses Tay.
My small group, which included Bishop Moses and Rev Gerry Khoo, met about twice during the convention. At one of the meetings we were asked about our involvement or interest in Missions. I remember Gerry asking me something to the effect if I had sensed a call to serve in the mission field. I replied in the affirmative but shared that I wasn’t ready to the details. To their credit, Gerry nor the Bishop pursued the matter. At that point it was a little premature to talk about Latin America.
HE SENDS A NUDGE
As the convention came to an end, we had sung the final hymn and all that was left was for Bishop Moses to send us out with his blessing. I was seated at the last row and ready to leave.
Just before the he raised his hands for the benediction, Moses hesitated and shared something from his heart, “We’ve received calls for help from many places…even from Alaska and South America”! His words, like a bolt out of the blue, opened my eyes of faith! Had the Lord given me the nudge I was looking for? I left trying to digest my experience.
I returned home a little tired and ready to unwind from the day’s activities. I had a bath; sat down on the sofa; switched on the television. Believe it or not the first images on the screen were part of a documentary featuring Peru and Bolivia!
Although there were other priorities in my life at that point - I was in the second year of my first pastorate - the Lord had sent a signal in this mission conference of an impending change of direction in my ministry towards South America.